Some local (and otherwise) news


News courtesy of Kevin Foster

(MP for Torbay)



Mayoral Referendum Result

Last Sunday the votes were counted in the Referendum on how Torbay Council should be run and the result was decisive.

62% voted for a return to a Leader of the Council elected by Councillors system that was used prior to 2005. This means that in May 2019, at the end of the current Elected Mayor’s term, the post will be abolished.

However you voted in the Referendum it is welcome that the result was so decisive as it puts an end to the debate about how our Council should be run that has distracted attention for too long. It is now vital that all on the Council work together to deliver a vision for our bay. The three year transition period is a chance for those aspiring to be the next Leader of the Council to show how they can lead an inclusive team that earns the support of residents for all of its members.

The switch to a Council Leader means every Councillor, regardless of party or group, will have a stake in, plus a responsibility, for how our Council performs.

BBC White Paper Unveiled
Yesterday the Government published the long awaited white paper on the future of the BBC as the corporation approaches the renewal of its charter.

In the run up to the announcement there was sadly a lot of scaremongering going on, ranging from claims the BBC would no longer be allowed to show “popular” programs, claims that it would lose editorial independence and that advertisements would be inserted into Children’s favourites.  None of these have been proposed or were ever likely to be, although some very highly paid individuals will have the salary they receive from licence fee payers each year revealed.

The new Charter will cover the BBC for 11 years to ensure the next renewal does not clash with the election cycle. You can read the full text of the white paper by clicking here.

Riviera Wheel On Its Way Back

A number of residents have been in touch to query whether the Riviera Wheel will be returning to Torquay this year.

The original plans for this year indicated a move closer to the Princess Theatre due to the possibility of work starting on The Pavilion. Yet with this work unlikely to progress the wheel will return to its normal position on Friday 20th May and has permission to be on site until 29 October.

You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

Latest Donkey News

Donkey rides could be on their way back to Paignton after my colleague Cllr Nicol Amil, the Council’s Executive Lead for Tourism, set out the work being done to find a solution.

Earlier this year the owners of the traditional rides lost a tender bid for their usual place on Paignton Green, yet a large petition calling on the Council to find space for them quickly followed.

You can read the full story on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

Taking Your Bike On the Train?

If you are planning to take your bike with you on the train then do bear in mind that Great Western Railway will be introducing a new compulsory cycle reservations policy on its long distance High Speed Trains from Monday 16th May.

Reservations remain free and can be made online, by phone (0345 7000 125) or at a station when booking a ticket. Reservations can also be made after the ticket is purchased by phone or at a ticket office.   This should be done by 18:00 the day before departure, although I am advised GWR can take bookings on some services up to 2 hours before departure.

On the occasions that pre-booking is not possible (and there is space available on board.) station staff have been briefed to allow bikes on board if this is possible.

There is no change to local services and no limit to the number of folding bikes trains can carry because these can be stored in the luggage racks. More information and the full cycle policy booklet are available on the GWR website by clicking here.

Can You Help Police Solve Torbay Cemetery Mystery?

An investigation has been launched after the discovery of large pools of blood in Torquay Cemetery.

Police have been studying CCTV in an attempt to identify the casualty after tests confirmed the blood was human. The largest pool of blood was found behind the Crematorium by a visitor on Tuesday. Appeals have so far drawn a blank.

You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here and if you have any information that may assist the Police in their enquiries then do get in touch with them on their 101 number.

Ray Gets Historic Second Term

This week St Marychurch Councillor Ray Hill became the first person in the recent history of the bay to be elected as Council Chairman for a second year.

The Chairman’s role is as the first citizen of the bay and mostly involves carrying out civic duties such as opening events and presenting prizes. It is normally done for one year and was created to continue the functions of the Civic Mayor when the Elected Mayor post was created in 2005.

It has not yet been confirmed what will happen beyond May 2019, although it is likely the old “Mayor of Torbay” post will be recreated as it was before 2005.

Ferry Cross the Bay?

It is safe to say the Brixham Express Ferry could be said to have faced “choppy waters” since it started.

The service was intended to create a reliable year round commuter service across the bay that linked with a Bus Service towards the Hospital. The plan included the service being operated by a catamaran style craft that would make journeys easy in most conditions.

Yet the promised boat has still not arrived and this was covered by the Herald Express this week. You can read their article by clicking here.


FREE: ‘Introduction to your Ipad or Tablet’
Two free ipad/tablet sessions with support from a tutor at ‘Me and Mrs Jones Deli’, Ilsham Road, Wellswood on MONDAY 16th MAY and MONDAY 23rd MAY between 10am and 12 noon, with only six places available. Book now to secure yours!
Email Marianne at or call or text her on 07469660875.

Torbay Photographic Society – Public Exhibition
Saturday 21st May 2016 11am to 4pm
Free admission at St Martins Church Hall, Barton Hill Road, Torquay TQ2 8HU

New WI For Wellswood
Monday 23rd May  7.30 PM – 9.00 PM
Come and join the new WI in Wellswood and become the members of a brand new WI. Join in and take advantage of all that the WI has to offer at St Matthias Church Centre (Peter Larkin Hall) , Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HW
Free Admission and Free Refreshments.


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